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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 96:11

 

 

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; Let the sea roar, and all it contains;

Adam Clarke Commentary

Let the heavens rejoice - The publication of the Gospel is here represented as a universal blessing; the heavens the earth, the sea, and its inhabitants, the field, the grass, and the trees of the wood, are all called to rejoice at this glorious event. This verse is well and harmoniously translated in the old Psalter: -

Fayne be hevenes - and the erth glad;

Styrde be the see, - and the fulnes of it;

Joy sal feldes, - and al that ere in thaim.

And the paraphrase is at least curious: -

Hevens, haly men. Erthe, meke men that receyves lare (learning). Feldes, that is even men, mylde and softe: they shall joy in Criste. And all that is in thaim, that es, strengh, wyttes & skill."

I shall give the remaining part of this ancient paraphrase, which is an echo of the opinion of most of the Latin fathers.

    Psalm 96:12; Thou sal glad al the trese of woddes - Thou, that is in another Iyfe. Trese of woddes. - Synful men that were fyrst withouten frut, and sithen taken into God's temple.

    Psalm 96:13. For he coms, he coms. He coms, fyrste to be man - Sythen he comes to deme the erth.

He sal deme in ebenes the erth: - and folk in his sothfastnes. Nothing is evener, or sothfaster, than that he geder with hym perfyte men; to deme and to deperte to the rig hande (thaim) that did mercy: - pase to the lefte hande (thaim) that did it nogt.

The psalmist here in the true spirit of poetry, gives life and intelligence to universal nature, producing them all as exulting in the reign of the Messiah, and the happiness which should take place in the earth when the Gospel should be universally preached. These predictions seem to be on the eve of complete fulfillment. Lord, hasten the time! For a fuller explanation see the following analysis.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 96:11". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-96.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad - Let all worlds be full of joy, as they are all interested in the fact here stated. The universe is one. It has been made by the same hand; it is under the control of the same mind; it is governed by the same laws. The God who reigns on earth reigns in heaven; and what affects one part of the universe affects all. Hence, in all the manifestation of the character of God, whether made in heaven or in the earth, it is proper to call on all the universe to partake in the general joy.

Let the sea roar - In praise to God. It is not uncommon in the Scriptures to call on inanimate things to praise God. Compare Psalm 148:7-9. The same thing is common in all poetry.

And the fulness thereof - Its abundance. That which fills it. All that it contains. That is, Let all that dwell in the seas praise God. His reign is an occasion for universal gladness. All in the inanimate world; all among the irrational tribes of being; all in the air, in the waters, or on the earth, have occasion for praise, and would render praise if they could appreciate the wisdom and goodness evinced in their creation. Though unconscious, the lower creatures seem to celebrate his praise; but man only can give an intelligent utterance to thanksgiving.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 96:11". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-96.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Let the heavens rejoice,.... At the coming and kingdom of Christ; at what is said and done in the Gentile world; even the hosts of heaven, as the Targum, the angels that dwell there, and never left their habitation and first estate: these rejoiced at the incarnation of Christ, at the first setting up and appearance of his kingdom in the world; and as they rejoice at the conversion of a single sinner, much more must they be supposed to do at the conversion of multitudes in the Gentile world, and at the increase of the Redeemer's interest there: or heavenly men, such as are born from above, partakers of the heavenly calling; these rejoice when the kingdom of Christ is enlarged, and his cause flourishes: or the holy apostles and prophets of Christ, and ministers of the word, full of heavenly gifts and grace, are meant; who express their joy when sinners are converted, and made subject to Christ, at any time; and will be called upon to do it, when the fulness of the Gentiles is brought in, and Babylon is fallen, Revelation 18:20,

and let the earth be glad; the righteous of the earth, as the Targum; the excellent of the earth, who are glad, and exult at the coming and kingdom of Christ, in every sense; in the salvation which he has wrought out; in the righteousness which he has brought in; at the sight of him, the glory of his person, and riches of his grace; in the enjoyment of his presence; at hearing his Gospel, and the comfortable truths of it; and when it is made useful to the souls of others; and in a view and hope of the glory of God, and of being partakers of it to all eternity:

let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the roaring of the waves is the voice of the sea, which sometimes speaks terror, and here expresses joy: its fulness is not literally the abundance of its waves, or the multitude of its fishes, as Kimchi; but the islands in it, the inhabitants of them; see Psalm 97:1 and such as ours of Great Britain and Ireland, who have reason to rejoice and be glad at the bringing of the Gospel among us, the continuance of it with us, and the kingdom and, interest of Christ in the midst of us.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 96:11". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-96.html. 1999.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

11Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad. With the view of giving us a more exalted conception of the display of God’s goodness in condescending to take all men under his government, the Psalmist calls upon the irrational things themselves, the trees, the earth, the seas, and the heavens, to join in the general joy. Nor are we to understand that by the heavens he means the angels, and by the earth men; (93) for he calls even upon the dumb fishes of the deep to shout for joy. The language must therefore be hyperbolical, designed to express the desirableness and the blessedness of being brought unto the faith of God. At the same time, it denotes to us that God does not reign with terror, or as a tyrant, but that his power is exercised sweetly, and so as to diffuse joy amongst his subjects. The wicked may tremble when his kingdom is introduced, but the erection of it is only the cause of their fear indirectly. (94) We might notice also, that the hyperbole here employed does not want a certain foundation of a more literal kind. As all elements in the creation groan and travail together with us, according to Paul’s declaration, (Romans 8:22) they may reasonably rejoice in the restoration of all things according to their earnest desire. The words teach us how infatuated that joy is, which is wantonly indulged in by men who are without God. From the close of the psalm, we learn that it is impossible to experience the slightest measure of true joy, as long as we have not seen the face of God, Rejoice before the Lord, because he cometh And if the very sea and land mourn so long as God is absent, may we not ask what shall become of us, who are properly the subjects of God’s dreadful curse? The Psalmist, to remove all doubt regarding an event which might seem incredible, repeats his assertion of it, and states, at the same time, in what that rectitude consists, which he had formerly mentioned, when he adds, that God shall govern the world with righteousness and truth. This shows us that it is only by the light of God’s righteousness and truth that the wickedness and hypocrisy of men can be removed and dispelled.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 96:11". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-96.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 96:11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof.

Ver. 11. Let the heavens rejoice, &c.] Let there be a general joy for the general renovation by the coming of Christ, Romans 8:22, after which the whole creation groaneth also. Basil and others by heaven, earth, &c., understand angels, men of all sorts, as islanders, seamen, fieldmen, woodlanders, &c. Vel est similitudo ad denotandam in mundo pacem, saith Kimchi, Or it is a similitude to note peace all over the world. And surely when Christ came there was a universal aut pax aut pactio, saith Florus, peace or truce, under the government of Augustus.

Let the sea roar] Heb. thunder; Externo fragore et bombo testetur internam animi laetitiam, let it testify its joy perstrependo et reboando, by roaring its utmost.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 96:11". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-96.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

It is a figure called prosopopoeia, whereby he signifies the great felicity of those times, which shall be such that even those lifeless creatures would testify their joy and thankfulness for it, if they were in a capacity so to do.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 96:11". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-96.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

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.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 96:11". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-96.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Light. Prosperity. The Babylonians are punished. (Calmet)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 96:11". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-96.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad. The initials of the four Hebrew words making this sentence form an acrostic (App-6, App-60, and App-63), giving the four letters of the word JEHOVAH (Y, H, V, H) thus:

Yismehu Hashshamayim Vethagel Ha"arez.

The Massorah (App-30) has a special rubric calling attention to this acrostic.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 96:11". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-96.html. 1909-1922.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof.
the heavens
69:34; 148:1-4; Isaiah 44:23; 49:13; Luke 2:10,13,14; 15:10; Revelation 12:12; Revelation 19:1-7
the sea
98:7-9

Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 96:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-96.html.

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