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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 97

 

 

Verse 1

Psalms 97:1 The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad [thereof].

Ver. 1. The Lord reigneth] This is matter of greatest joy to the righteous. Gaudeo quod Christus Dominus est, alioqui totus desperassem, I am glad that Christ is Lord of all; for otherwise I should uttely have been out of hope, saith Miconius, in an Epistle to Calvin, upon the view of the Church’s enemies.

Let the multitudes of isles be glad] As more happy herein than any of those called the Fortunate Islands, or than Cyprus, anciently called Macaria, that, is, The blessed isle, for her abundance of commodities.


Verse 2

Psalms 97:2 Clouds and darkness [are] round about him: righteousness and judgment [are] the habitation of his throne.

Ver. 2. Clouds and darkness are round about him] As once at the delivering of the law, so now in publishing the gospel, he is no less terrible, having vengeance in store for the disobedient, 2 Corinthians 10:6. It is a savour of death to unbelievers. Christ came to send fire on the earth, Luke 12:49.

Righteousness and judgment, &c.] Mercy Christ hath for the penitent, judgment for the rebellious, who seek to dethrone him. Woe to those gospel sinners.


Verse 3

Psalms 97:3 A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about.

Ver. 3. A fire goeth before him] For even our God is a consuming fire, Hebrews 12:29 (and not the God of the Jews only), as shall well appear at the last day, 2 Thessalonians 1:8. {See Trapp on "Psalms 97:2"}


Verse 4

Psalms 97:4 His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled.

Ver. 4. His lightnings enlightened the world] His apostles, those fulmiua Ecclesiastica, shall spread gospel light, and amaze people; the Lord working with them, and confirming their word with signs following, Mark 16:20


Verse 5

Psalms 97:5 The hills melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.

Ver. 5. The hills melted like wax] Nothing shall be so stout and steady as to be able to stand before them.

Before the Lord] Adon, Dominator, the maker and master of all, the rightful proprietary. The Latin translation hath it, All the earth is before the face of the Lord.


Verse 6

Psalms 97:6 The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.

Ver. 6. The heavens declare his righteousness] As so many Catholic preachers, Psalms 19:1; Psalms 50:4; Psalms 50:6. By heavens some understand angels, concurring with men to glorify God. Others, the heavenly bodies pleading God’s cause against atheists and idolaters. They that worshipped the sun were atheists by night; and they that worshipped the moon were atheists by day, as Cyril wittily.


Verse 7

Psalms 97:7 Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all [ye] gods.

Ver. 7. Confounded be all they that serve graven images] Those instruments of idolatry, and lurking places of devils, diabolicae inspirationis et iustinctus participes. Such and their servants we may lawfully pray against.

That boast themselves of idols] As did that idolatrous Micah, 17:4-5, Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel 3:1-7; Julian, called, therefore Idolian; the Papists at this day. See Dr Rainolds de Idololatria Romana.

Worship him, all ye gods] i.e. All ye angels, saith the Greek and Arabic; and the apostle saith the same, Hebrews 1:6, proving Christ to be God-man. This psalm, saith Beza, is highly to be prized of all Christ’s, as containing a most divine epitome of all gospel mysteries.


Verse 8

Psalms 97:8 Zion heard, and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of thy judgments, O LORD.

Ver. 8. Zion heard, and was glad] Heard what? the downfall of the devil’s kingdom, and the erecting of Christ’s sceptre; this was good news to the Church, and her children. Berne was the first town that after the Reformation burnt their images. Zurich followed on an Ash Wednesday, which they observe and celebrate every year to this day, with all mirths, plays, and pastimes, as an Ash Wednesday of God’s own making.


Verse 9

Psalms 97:9 For thou, LORD, [art] high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods.

Ver. 9. For thou, Lord, art high above all the earth] Declared now to be so with power, as Romans 1:4, and the world convinced of singular sottishness in fancying other divinities.

Thou art exalted above all gods] "Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come," Ephesians 1:21. Here, then, we have the super-exaltation of Christ’s person; and the apostle manifestly alludeth to it, Ephesians 4:10, Philippians 2:9.


Verse 10

Psalms 97:10 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.

Ver. 10. Ye that love the Lord] As having tasted of Christ’s sweetness, being justified by his merit, and sanctified by his Spirit, 1 Peter 2:4, 1 Corinthians 6:11; carried after him with strength of desire, Psalms 42:1, and delight, Psalms 73:25. Such as these only are Christ’s true subjects; others will pretend to him, but they are but hangbys, unless the love of Christ constrain them to hate evil, to hate it as hell, Romans 12:9. Sin seemeth to have its name of Sena to hate (the word שׁנא here used), because it is most of all to be hated, as the greatest evil; as that which setteth us farthest from God, the greatest good αποστυγουντες. This none can do but those that love the Lord Christ in sincerity; for all hatred comes from love. A natural man may be angry with his sin, as a man is sometimes with his wife or friend for some present vexation; but hate it he cannot; yea, he may leave it (for the ill consequents of sin), but not loathe it. If he did, he would loathe all, as well as any, for hatred is ever against the whole kind of a thing, saith Aristotle, το μισος προς τα γενη (Rhetor. lib. 2).


Verse 11

Psalms 97:11 Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.

Ver. 11. Light is sown for the righteous] The righteous is haeres crucis, the heir of the cross; and many are his troubles. A child of light may walk in darkness and have no light, Isaiah 50:10, yet Christ will not leave him comfortless, John 14:16, light is sown for him. It is yet seeding time, and that is usually wet and dropping; and the seed must have a time to lie, and then to grow, ere a crop can be expected; there must be also weeding and clodding, &c. "Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it. Be ye also patient, stablish your heart," &c., James 5:7-8. We look not to sow and reap in a day, as he saith of the Hyperborean people far north, that they sow shortly after the sunrising with them, and reap before the sunset, sc. because the whole half year is one continual day with them (Heresbach de re Rust.). Deliverance will come in God’s good time; and as before the morning light is the thickest darkness, as the seed that lieth longest underground cometh up at length with greatest increase, so here. Semen modicum, sed messis foecunda, saith Aben Ezra on the text.

And gladness for the upright] This clause expoundeth the former.


Verse 12

Psalms 97:12 Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

Ver. 12. Rejoice in the Lord] See Psalms 32:11, {See Trapp on "Psalms 32:11"}

At the remembrance of his holiness] That is, of himself; for whatsoever is in God is God; as also of his works and benefits, whereby he giveth you so good occasion to remember him.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 97:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-97.html. 1865-1868.

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