corner graphic

Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

Psalms 96



Verse 1

1. A new song— “Besides the psalms and songs which have been written.”Kimchi. But more than this, “new” in the sense of unusual, out of the common course, above the common measure, spiritual, joyful, Messianic. See Psalms 33:3; Psalms 98:1; Isaiah 42:10; and still more perfectly unfolded in Revelation 5:9-10

Verse 2

2. Sing unto the Lord—Thrice uttered in Psalms 96:1-2, for strength and intensity. The call is urgent, the occasion extraordinary.

Show forth his salvation—Bear tidings of, etc., like a swift messenger, or preach tidings, as Psalms 40:9; Isaiah 61:1. The evangelical import of the language is settled by the Lord himself in Luke 4:18; Luke 4:21.

From day to day— Perpetually.

Verse 5

5. Idols—The name is one of contempt: אלילים (eleeleem,) images, nothings, vanities, in opposition to אלהים, (Eloheem,) God. The former word is a play upon the latter, (by paronomasia;) by altering the letters a little the similarity of sound is retained with a sense satirically opposite. Thus, the heathen gods are called “no gods,” (2 Chronicles 13:9,) in opposition to the true God, (chap. Psalms 15:3 ;) “nothing,” (1 Corinthians 8:4,) “vanity,” (Jeremiah 14:22,) and “devils,” from the character and effect of their worship. 1 Corinthians 10:19-20; Revelation 9:20.

The Lord made the heavens—He is to be judged of by his works. They are his “glory,” his “wonders,” (Psalms 96:3,) and the appeal is made to show that the Author of nature and of salvation is one and the same God. Psalms 95:4-5

Verse 6

6. Honour and majesty—The Hebrew words denote kingly glory.

Strength and beauty—Two qualities difficult to combine. They are not spoken so much of the architecture of the sanctuary as of the symbolic significance of its structure and furnishments, as “patterns of things in the heavens,” (Hebrews 9:2; Hebrews 9:23;) above all, its worship, and the manifestations of God to his devout worshippers. See Psalms 63:2

Verse 7

7. Give… ye—The “give,” or ascribe, is uttered thrice, corresponding to “sing,” thrice repeated, (Psalms 96:1-2,) expressive of the earnestness of the speaker. See Psalms 29:1-2. The Chaldee has it, “Bring a new song to God.”

Kindreds of the people—Hebrew, Families of the nations. This accords with the breadth of the covenant. Compare “families of the earth,” (Genesis 12:3; Genesis 28:14,) which is the basis of the New Testament Church, as the family organization is also of the nation. The tendency of modern civilization and nationality is to restore the nations, according to the most ancient law, on the line of language and blood, see Genesis 10:5; Genesis 10:20; Genesis 10:31-32, against the arbitrary combinations of ambition and conquest. Europe gives an example of this.

Verse 8

8. Glory due unto his name—Literally, The glory of his name; that is, ascribe to him the “glory” of his self-manifestations, whether in creation, providence, or redemption. See on Psalms 96:5.

Bring an offering—The call is still to the nations. See the anticipation of their conversion further delineated, Isaiah 60. There is no religion without worship; and worship, to be acceptable, must include an offering to God and a public confession according to our relations to him. See on Psalms 50:14; Psalms 51:16-17

Verse 9

9. Beauty of holiness—See notes on Psalms 29:2; Psalms 110:3

Verse 10

10. Say among the heathen—The address is to the Church, as in Psalms 96:3. The conversion of the Gentile nations (Psalms 96:5; Psalms 96:7; Psalms 96:9; Psalms 96:13) was the psalmist’s theme, of which the Church is the chosen instrument.

The Lord reigneth—See on Psalms 93:1. “Jehovah reigneth,” in the Hebrew estimation, embodied all that could be said or desired of happiness to the earth and glory to God. Their ideal of millennium was the universal theocracy, as ours is of the Christocracy. To them the coming of Messiah was the “day of Jehovah.” Malachi 4:6

Verse 11

11. Let the heavens rejoice—Fulfilled when, in prophetic vision, heaven saw the kingdom of Christ established over the nations. Revelation 11:17-19. But the righteous dominion of Christ over the earth implies, not only the worship of one God and one Saviour, but the downfall of despotism, the abrogation of unjust laws, the administration of justice, the overthrow of antichrist, the uprooting of superstition, the destruction of idols, the universal rights of man, and the peace of the earth. These have never yet been accomplished by the gentle influence of moral suasion alone, without the concurring judgments of God to break the arm of the wicked.

Verse 13

13. He shall judge the world with righteousness—This description of the happy state of the earth accords with that of John, (Revelation 20:4 :) “I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them.” Comp. Daniel 7:22; Daniel 7:27.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 96:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.

Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology