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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 96:13

 

 

Before the LORD, for He is coming, For He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness And the peoples in His faithfulness.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Before the Lord - This is altered from Psalm 72:2-4; and the notes at Isaiah 11:2-5. What is here stated occurs now, wherever the gospel reigns in the hearts of people; it will be fully accomplished when the Lord Jesus shall come again and judge the world.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 96:13". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-96.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Psalms 96:13

Then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord.

A summer homily on the trees

I. The lessons from the characteristics common to all trees.

1. This is the first thing we learn from the trees of the wood: life, growth, effort after perfection, suggesting to us what we are here for.

2. Productiveness, fruitfulness, manifestation and justification of the profession of life by fruit; that great characteristic of all trees whereby they produce the bud, the blossom, the fruit, without which they have not accomplished the end for which they exist; without which, at the right time, all professions of life are vain.

3. Beauty, gracefulness, symmetry of parts, proportion. There are Christian men and women not a few whose lives can only best be characterized when we call them lovely; so full of harmony they are, so free in obedience to highest law. We are drawn to them by an instinct we cannot resist; in them and upon them we see the beauty of the Lord. These are the trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord by which He is glorified.

II. The lessons from the characteristics peculiar to some trees.

1. This one to begin with, for example, that every tree has its own peculiar quality, in virtue of which it differs from every other: that every individual Christian, every man, has his own peculiar quality in virtue of which he differs, is meant to differ, from every other. If we have been endowed with special gifts and graces it is that these may come out in special work; if we have what nobody else has, it is that we may do what nobody else can. Generally true as it is that trees in the mass are of great use in the economy of nature; in the modification of climate, for example, or in their effect upon animal existence: it is also specially true that individual trees have their own peculiar ways of producing these results. A very special quality of the pine tree is to send its roots not downwards as others that require depth of earth, but obliquely, where if it but get a hold it will live. But in this special quality there is the special work: to be a covert, a protection to the rich harvests that are to be reaped behind their friendly shade. And so in the forest of God there is special work for special gifts. Some are more fitted for the maintenance and defence of moral purity and sound doctrine, others for the more private comforting and building up of weak or wavering seekers after God, and others still for the promotion of true piety among the young. Each has his gift; each his work.

3. The lesson of true worship,--the homage of the creature to the great Creator of all. To the Hebrew the stars rayed forth the glory of the Lord, and the everlasting hills bowed themselves down before the God of the whole earth; the voice of the Lord was upon the waters, His way in the deep, and His path in the mighty waters; the trees of the field rejoiced before Him! And why all this, and for what spiritual end in the upward progress of man? Surely to attune his heart and mind to that spirit of worship, that reverential homage, that glad rejoicing before the Lord for which he, of all the creatures He has made, is most fitted. (Peter Rutherford.)

For He cometh to judge the earth.--

The advent of the Lord

No insinuation is more unfair than this--which is not seldom thrown against the Jews of old--that their conception of Jehovah was that of a local God, who concerned Himself with the affairs of Palestine, but was indifferent to those of the world at large. On the contrary, the marvel is that a people dwelling like the Jews in an obscure corner of the globe, and planted in a district about as large as three or four English counties, should have had such magnificent conceptions of their destiny, and so deep-rooted a conviction of the destined universality of their faith. Not only, however, was it given to Israel of old to see in the truest spirit of prophecy that the earth should be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, the God of Israel, as the waters cover the sea, but with a foresight no less marvellous, and a wisdom very far in advance of the age, it was given to that nation, and to that alone, to perceive that there was an aspect of the Divine judgment in which it would become the object of exulting and triumphant joy. Minos and Rhadamanthus and their attendant horrors were the dream of heathen Greece. The glory of the Divine light which fell upon the hills of Palestine had revealed a more joyous prospect: it was that of all nature singing aloud and clapping her hands for joy at the advent of the Lord of hosts as the recognized judge of all the earth. What a glorious thought it is! Whose heart does not leap up within him when he sees the fields rejoicing in their waving crops as they sway to and fro in the summer breeze? What prospect is more glorious than that of the distant wood, gay with the delicate foliage of returning spring, and glimmering in the sunlight, or dashed with a thousand hues that may vie in brilliancy with those of the garden in her splendour, and which have no counterpart in the autumn tints of England, golden and glorious as they are? These are all sights and sounds more or less familiar to all of us, and the associations they awaken are in the highest degree pleasurable; but whoever associates these images, as the Hebrew poet did, with the thought of the Lord of the whole earth coming to judge the world which He made so fair? And yet why not? Are these sights and sounds of nature out of harmony with God or produced in obedience to His will? If we are strictly in harmony with nature, shall we be in harmony with God, or the reverse? We want the triumph of justice, and truth, and right: nothing less will give free scope to the repressed and stifled voices of praise which this sin-burdened, but otherwise beautiful and glorious earth, longs to raise. We want the abolition of crime and poverty, oppression and ignorance. We want the extinction of selfishness, and of selfish, thoughtless, sinful, God-forgetting luxury. This, and much more than this, is what we want, but we cannot gain or recover it for ourselves. It is not in the power of society at large to give to itself what every separate member of society in his degree feels the want of. There is something wrong here, and that which is wrong here cannot be rectified by the combined efforts of others, not one of whom is free from the same radical defect. What is wanted is for the Lord to come to judgment. When the truth of Christ has free course and is glorified in the heart of man, it is the advent of Christ to judgment. He casts down the proud and lofty, He lifts up the low and humble, He makes the crooked straight, and the rough places plain; He casts out what is base and trivial, and brings in what is pure, and true, and noble. There can be no joy like that which arises in the heart, when for the first time and in truth every thought has been brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, when He, and He alone, is recognized as the Judge and Lord of all. That is, indeed, the foretaste and the earnest of a greater advent to come, an advent which cannot be delayed, and which can alone be hastened by each individual heart being subdued to Christ. But whatever may be the apparent prospects of this future advent--of the coming of this mighty One, whose advent shall be the signal for the bursting forth of the manifold chorus of universal nature--there can be no question as to its ultimate destiny (Isaiah 40:5). Be it ours, then, to set forward and promote the advent of this great and glorious time, each in his sphere, vocation, and duty. That is the mission of the Christian, to exhibit in himself the operation of a law which is destined to universal recognition, which is even now recognized in a greater or less degree wherever truth, justice, and equity are accepted as the guiding principles of life, and the recognition of which, when it is commensurate with human society and the limits of the human race, will be the mark of the accomplishment of the Divine purposes in the regeneration of the world. (Stanley Leathes, D.D.)
.

Psalms 97:1-12


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Psalms 96:13". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/psalms-96.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Before the Lord,.... At the face of him, in his presence; meeting him as he comes, and rejoicing at his coming: this clause is to be joined to everyone in the two preceding verses:

for he cometh, for he cometh; which is repeated to show the certainty of Christ's coming, and the importance of it, and the just reason there was for the above joy and gladness on account of it; and it may be also, as Jerom and others have observed, to point out both the first and second coming of Christ, which are both matter of joy to the saints: his first coming, which was from heaven into this world, in a very mean and abject manner, to save the chief of sinners, to procure peace, pardon, righteousness, and eternal life for them, and therefore must be matter of joy: his second coming, which will be also from heaven, but in an extremely glorious manner, without sin, or the likeness of it, unto the salvation of is people: it will be as follows,

to judge the earth; the inhabitants of it, small and great, high and low, rich and poor, bond and free, quick and dead, righteous and wicked; when all works, words, and thoughts, good and bad, will be brought to account; and every man will be judged, as those shall be, with or without the grace of God:

he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth; according to the rules of justice and equity; he will truly discern and rightly judge; his judgment will be according to his truth; he will approve himself to be the righteous Judge, and his judgment will appear to be a righteous judgment; for which he is abundantly qualified, as being the Lord God omniscient and omnipotent, holy, just, and true; see Acts 17:31.


Copyright Statement
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 96:13". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-96.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.

Before — At the presence and approach of their Lord and Maker.

Cometh — To set up his throne among all the nations of the earth.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Psalms 96:13". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/psalms-96.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 96:13 Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.

Ver. 13. Before the Lord: for he cometh, for he cometh] Certainly, suddenly, happily, &c., for this is the sum of all the good news in the world, that Christ cometh and cometh; that is, saith Basil, once, to show the world how they shall be saved; and a second time, to judge the world for neglecting so great salvation, &c.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 96:13". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-96.html. 1865-1868.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

All the redeemed of God are uniformly represented as looking unto, and longing for, the second coming of Christ. How the Church longed for Christ's first coming, is often represented in scripture. And Jesus comforted his disciples with the blessed prospect, when from signs and tokens they were to lift up their heads, when their redemption drew nigh; Luke 21:28. Hence, when Jesus, at the close of the canon of scripture, saith, Behold, I come quickly, the Church with one voice is represented as crying out, Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Revelation 22:20.

REFLECTIONS

READER! we have been attending to this gospel Psalm, this new song of the church, in honour of her Redeemer: but can we truly and heartily join in it? Is it not the same new song, or to the same effect, as John heard the redeemed in heaven sing? Indeed, how should it be otherwise; for it is wholly of salvation? And if the church above sing it, ought not the church below? And if every individual of that church, at the fountain-head of bliss, sing it, ought not every individual of the church, though in a wilderness-state below, to sing the same? Reader! have we learned it? Can we sing it? Do we live in it, and delight in it? Yes! yes! if Jesus be precious, surely we shall at least lisp out the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvellous light; and the song of Moses and the Lamb will be our daily song in this house of our pilgrimage.

Precious Author of all our joy, Jesus, by that endearing name would my soul look up to thee, and sing of thee, and of thy praise, all the day long! As the thirsty earth receives the falling shower; as the darkened land rejoiceth in the opening day; so let my soul wait and long for thee, and welcome thee and thy coming, every day, and all the day, in songs of the most sublime adoration, love, and praise. And while enjoying thee and thy presence in my own soul, I would declare thy glory among the heathen. I would tell of the wonders of thy love among all people. And though full well I know, blessed Jesus, that all praise must fall infinitely short of thine excellent greatness, yet would I put forth all my strength, and call upon all the heathen to rejoice, at the blessed thought that Christ reigneth. And, Lord, while singing thy praises, this should swell my joyful song, that Jesus cometh, and is coming, and will come, to judge the earth, to take to himself his great name, and live, and love, and rule forever. Oh, Lord! may it form a sweet and harmonious note in my song, that Jesus, who cometh as the judge of all the earth, cometh also as the Lord and Saviour of his people. He is coming to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe. Come then, Lord Jesus! come, and be glorified in my soul, and be glorified in my salvation! For surely I know, and believe, that every knee shall bow before thee, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.


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

Bibliography
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 96:13". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/psalms-96.html. 1828.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Before the Lord; at the presence and approach of their Lord and Maker.

To judge the earth; to take to himself that power and authority which belongs to him, to set up his throne and dominion among all the nations of the earth.

With his truth; or, in his faithfulness, i.e. so as he hath promised to do. He will certainly and abundantly fulfil all God’s promises made to his people.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 96:13". 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

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.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 96:13". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-96.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 96:13. Before the Lord — At the presence and approach of their Lord and Maker. For he cometh to judge the earth — To take to himself that power and authority which belong to him, and to set up his throne and dominion above all the nations of the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness — He shall reform the earth, and govern mankind by righteous and merciful laws; and the people with his truth — Or, in his faithfulness; that is, so as he has promised to do. He will certainly and abundantly fulfil all his promises made to his people, and faithfully keep his word with all those that observe his commandments. “The coming of Christ,” says the last-mentioned author, “is two-fold; first, he came to sanctify the creature, and he will come again to glorify it. Either of his kingdoms, that of grace or that of glory, may be signified by his judging the world in righteousness and truth. If creation be represented as rejoicing at the establishment of the former, how much greater will be the joy at the approach of the latter, seeing that notwithstanding Christ be long since come in the flesh, though he be ascended into heaven, and have sent the Spirit from thence, yet the whole creation, as the apostle speaks, Romans 8:22, groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now, expecting to be delivered from the bondage of corruption, &c., yea, we ourselves also, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan within ourselves, waiting for the redemption of the body; when, at the renovation of all things, man, new made, shall return to the days of his youth, to begin an immortal spring, and be for ever young.”


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 96:13". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/psalms-96.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

PSALM XCVI. (DOMINUS REGNAVIT.)

All are invited to rejoice at the glorious coming and reign of Christ.


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 96:13". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-96.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Before. See note on "presence" (Psalms 95:2.

He cometh . . . He cometh. Figure of speech. Epteeuxis (App-6), for emphasis.

the world = the habitable world. Hebrew. tebel. No rest or righteous rule for the world and its inhabitants until He comes. The next Psalm is " the New Song", celebrating this by anticipation.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 96:13". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-96.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.

Before the Lord; for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth. The repetition, "for He cometh," expresses the certainty of His coming, and His people's joyful anticipation of it. This is the expansion of the single "He cometh," 1 Chronicles 16:33.

He shall judge ... the people with his truth. The truth of the coming Judge stands in contrast to the falsity which has heretofore prevailed on earth. He comes to "judge" - i:e., to vindicate His people's cause, and the cause of "righteousness." Therefore His people look forward to His coming with joy (Luke 18:1-8).


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 96:13". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-96.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(13) For he cometh, for he cometh.—Notice the striking repetition, the natural expression of gladness.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 96:13". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-96.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.
he cometh
98:9; Isaiah 25:8,9; Malachi 3:1,2; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; 2 Thessalonians 1:10; 2 Timothy 4:8; Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 3:12-14; Revelation 11:18; 22:10
judge
10; 67:4; Revelation 19:11

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 96:13". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-96.html.

Ver. 13. Before the Lord, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth, he shall judge the world in righteousness, and the nations in faithfulness.

The repeated "for he comes," which so significantly expresses the joyful expectation of a glorious good, for which the heart of the Psalmist in his bosom so ardently longed, is omitted in Chronicles, which is characteristic of the version of the poem given there. It is also wanting at the conclusion of Psalms 98. For such an expression of emotion does not admit of repetition, and would appear artificial. The שפט, as is manifest from the fundamental passage Isaiah 2:4, particularly from the construction with בין, and the parallel הוכיח, has not the sense of "to reign," but that of "to judge." The judging, however, is such as affords matter of joy to the righteous, Psalms 96:1, it is not a retributive but a gracious judging, by which controversies are adjusted and prevented, and the law of love is introduced into the lives of the people, comp. the fundamental passage. [Note: Calvin: "Hence it follows that it is only by the light of the justice and the truth of God that the depravity and hypocrisy natural to men are dissipated and cleared away."] The language does not apply to the "judgment of the world" as the "punishment of idolatry." The faithfulness of God stands in contrast to the faithlessness of man, their want of trust-worthiness, and their deceit, the reign of which on the earth can be destroyed only by God acting out his own faithfulness, and setting it up as a model.


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Bibliography
Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Psalms 96:13". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/psalms-96.html.

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